International Institute of Modern Letters

MA Scriptwriting Students 2016

These are brief paragraphs about themselves written by each member of this year's class and emailed to the IIML at the start of the year. The intention is that they can read about each other before they meet face to face. We also hope these informal snapshots will make interesting reading in future years.

Introducing the class of 2016:

William Duignan

William Duignan hails from Christchurch, where he graduated from CPIT with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication in 2010. In 2012, he moved to Wellington to pursue a career as an actor and singer. Since then, he’s had success working with Circa Theatre, WMT, and Capital E National Theatre for Children (among others) making theatre. In 2015, William (with his collaborator Waylon Edwards) presented their first musical, Boxed, in the New Zealand Fringe Festival to some fanfare and general infamy. He's excited to keep telling stories through song, and making theatre that freaks people out.

Myfanwy Fanning-Randall

As a child I saw Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas. The colours, landscape, and Nastassja Kinski's mohair jersey have stayed with me.

I grew up in rural Nelson/Tasman at the foothills of Kahurangi National Park, and after leaving school spent a good chunk of my twenties travelling and working overseas (with stints in Holland, Japan, Australia, and more recently, Hungary).

In 2011 I returned to pursue this never-ceasing desire to tell stories. Graduating from Unitec's BPSA with a major in screenwriting, I had my graduate short, Bud, chosen for the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in 2014.

As well as writing, I'm also interested in documentaries and have spent the last couple of years researching a doco on donor conception, working title: Misconceptions.

Ali Foa'i

(Niue-Mutalau/American Samoa-Pago Pago/Tokelau-Fakaofo/Tuvalu-Nukufetau).

Raised in Westy Aukilani suburbia not too far from the black beaches and jungley foothills of the Waitaks.

Performer, Playwright and avid traveler of the world. Can also make the killer Chop Suey.

Pursuing an inherent interest in indigenous storytelling and love for good stories.

Here to learn to spin a good yarn cinematically brilliant and beautiful.

New to the capital. Holla.

Callum Fordyce

I am 22 and after five years of study will soon be completing a conjoint degree in Law and Criminology with a minor in Media studies. I discovered my love for scriptwriting a few years into my degree through the writing of radio sitcoms for student and local stations, which was roughly the same time I realised my complete lack of passion for Law. My parents were thrilled when I told them a law career wasn't for me and that I instead wanted to write scripts. They still tell people I am an aspiring barrister.

Roxane Gajadhar

I've always had a fascination with storytelling. I started out studying English Lit and eventually, after travelling for a few years, journalism. A video course landed me a job in documentary production and I have worked in film and television pretty much ever since (with a few years off to build a mud-brick house in rural Canterbury).  I've dabbled in writing, and procrastinated a lot, but now it feels like time to go all in.

Isla Macleod

My interests include judging strangers, card games and planning my day around my meals. You could have described me as a highly imaginative kid. Or an excellent liar. I applied because of the curse of privilege - nothing gets done without a deadline. I value concision.

Harry Meech

I'm a playwright and theatre practitioner from Wainuiomata. Recently I've been working on broadening my creative output to include writing for the film and television industry, and it is my long term goal to create a TV show some day - although by then it will probably be beamed directly into your mind via a chip implanted in your brain stem. I'm a writer because I love story telling and I am fascinated by the human race - our idiosyncrasies, our myriad passions and failings, and that peculiar way in which we are able to live in denial as our world crumbles around us.

Looking forward to meeting everyone and getting started!

Maraea Rakuraku

I te taha o tōku mama ko Ngāti Kahungunu te Iwi

I te taha o tōku papa ko Tūhoe te Iwi

Ko Maraea Rakuraku tōku ingoa

E hoki ki ō maunga. Kia purea koe e ngā hau a Tāwhiri-matea - Return to your mountains that you may be cleansed by the winds of Tawhirimatea; is a whakatauki that describes how reconnecting with/ remembering where you come from, aids in being able to stand confidently in worlds that are often very different, alien or even hostile to what you are accustomed too. I am very much shaped and grounded in my Tūhoetanga. Yet, I am also the product of what Ngāti Pōrou, Apirana Ngata (1874-1950) championed, in encouraging Māori to take up the tools of Te Ao Pākeha to benefit Māori. As a storyteller those are the worlds that I move between and the voices you never hear.

I have always told, heard, shared, facilitated and analysed story as a writer, performance poet (DuskyMaidensNobleSavages); broadcaster; reviewer, producer and founder of boutique media and production house- Native Agency Ltd.

Anya Tate-Manning

I'm originally from Dunedin, and studied at Otago University and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.
I've worked in the Wellington theatre industry for the last 10 years as a performer, director and devisor. I make political satire, perform a marionette puppet show of pulp fiction, perform solo shows and enjoy performing at fringe festivals around the world. I don't know much about writing, especially screen writing but I've watched a lot of television in my life. I'm an escapist, a fantasist, I love vampires and zombies and the end of the world.

Ben Wilson

Born and bred in Wellington, so film and theatre have been fairly inescapable. I grew up re-watching The Sopranos and Six Feet Under until I could quote every episode of their six seasons and realised there may be a problem. My favourite things I have done are writing and performing in I'll Be Fine at BATS and the Basement and writing Call Me Bukowski. My next plan of attack is to avoid first person titles. If that plan fails I will attempt to steal the Coen brothers' brains…both of them.